Mary Rose LeBaron
My day with the Friends of Five Creeks working to restore a creek between 9th and 10th St. in Berkeley was a nugget of delight as far as community activism experiences go. Working together with others towards a shared goal; that of creating viable global climate solutions was rewarding and beneficial in more ways than one. First as an experience that was shared, meeting others from my local community and enjoying new happy fellowships and second, meeting on the basis that we are part of a larger global community with a common goal. If one visits the website www.350.org one can see the pictures that are streaming in from across the globe from other work parties on 10/10/10. In short, our work party consisted a walk and tour of the existing stream bed and a talk from a few of the organizers including an ecological urban designer who along with Friends of Five Creeks has designated enough land to create and re-invigorate a healthy habitat for Steelhead Trout in Berkeley and Albany, This was followed by an hour and a half of creek side clean up. The local homeless population had been sleeping along the creek bed and had left considerable amounts of trash behind. My particular work party group had the job of bagging up and moving this trash about a hundred yards down the creek bed to an area where it would later be picked up and disposed of.
One of the aspects that I most liked about this project is that Friends of Five Creeks is making a fantastic urban green space, open to the public, filling it with native plants, and along part of the creek they have planted several fruit trees and made a small gathering place in the shade of these fruit trees and willow trees. Richard Register, our tour guide explained that he wants children to come walking along this path and be able to pick the fruit from these trees so that they can know where fruit comes from and experience the pleasure of picking it in their own community.